In the late 1870's communication and means of travel were not what they are today. The farmers in this area had all of their net worth, as well as their livelihood, invested in their buildings, machinery, and cattle. If there was a fire or other natural disaster, they could stand to lose everything. There was no way of quickly calling the fire department or police. There was not a 911 number or even telephone service to rural areas.
On June 25th, 1873, twenty-eight residents of the townships of Vinland, Oshkosh, Clayton, and Winneconne met at Clemansville (now the intersection of Brooks Road and County Road T in the Town of Vinland, Winnebago County) to discuss the formation of a cooperative when the members pledged to insure their neighbors belongings to this group on a prorata share. This was the beginning of our company.